Although there are thousands of people planting native trees each year, there is no tally of how many are being planted across New Zealand. More trees planted will absorb more carbon from the atmosphere, thereby reducing the negative impact of greenhouse gases on our climate and our environment. Counting the trees being planted means we can measure the impact we are having.
In order to make a meaningful response to climate change it’s important to be clear about what trees qualify to count. Native restoration planting programmes throughout New Zealand use a wide range of tree and shrub species. While all of these will contribute to carbon sequestration (sucking up carbon), the requirement of Trees That Count will follow the criteria for tree planting as defined in New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in that a tree must be capable of reaching a minimum height of 5 metres.
Trees That Count is counting, and planting trees that are:
- Native—that is, indigenous to New Zealand
- Species that have the potential to reach a minimum height of 5 metres at maturity
- “In addition” to nature—that is, deliberately planted and not counted through natural regeneration
- Planted with the intention of being maintained and protected until maturity.
Native tree are selected because of the other arrays of environmental benefits they provide - like increasing biodiversity, restoring waterways, creating habitats for our native birds and insects.
Check out the list of trees that count here
Yes, all trees are good. But although fast-growing exotic species such as radiata pine sequester carbon faster than planted natives, all forest irrespective of species eventually plateau with a significant carbon carrying capacity.
Unlike most radiata pine stands that are usually felled before 30 years of age (at 800 t/ha CO2 equivalents), native forest can be managed as permanent forestry sinks. These native forests can be established as conservation forests or on appropriate sites managed as sustainable production forests using Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF) principles.
Yes! In order to apply for trees from us you will need to have added trees to our count already, and confirmed them. You'll need to log in and then Apply for Trees.
New to Trees That Count? You can still add numbers of trees that you planted in 2016 and 2017, then apply.
Because our goal is to help increase tree planting, rather than fund existing work, you cannot apply for more trees that you have added to our count.
Can you source your own trees? Typically we ask you to source trees locally and pay nurseries direct.
All trees that you pledge to plant will automatically be added to the count.
All donations or gifts of trees will be added to our 'Tree Pool' so that registered Trees That Count planters can then apply for free native trees from us.
The available trees we have to give away changes depending on the funding received. We may not be able to help you immediately, but we'll keep your application open if it meets our criteria, in case we can support you in the future.
If you're a business, choose a tree product and start funding trees today! Make sure that you complete your Tree Profile so that you appear on our Tree Leaderboard, and then each time you fund trees these will be added to your position on the Leaderboard.
We'll get in touch with you once we've reviewed your application and let you know if we can help. We may not be able to help immediately, but may be able to match your application to funds once we receive more tree funding.
Typically we don't organise planting events ourselves as we're not really resourced enough. Planning a good planting event takes a lot of time. When we get funding we pass it through to a group and they get on and plant the trees themselves. It really depends on volume of trees funded, but as a rule of thumb we don't tend to organise an event unless you can fund in excess of 1,000 trees. If you're just wanting to volunteer we suggest you find a group near you on our map and get in touch with them and see they are keen for some help planting, many of them will be!
Trees That Count's carbon estimation is based on the following assumptions:
- One tonne of carbon means the equivalent of one tonne of carbon dioxide, expressed as tCO2e.
- The method for calculating carbon sequestered is based on the MPI Look Up tables taken from areas of regenerating indigenous shrublands dominated by manuka/kanuka.
- Estimated carbon sequestered over the first 50 years from the MPI Look Up table for indigenous species is 323.4 tCO2e per hectare.
- Average plant density is 3000 stems per ha for Trees That Count registered trees, based on the majority of planting programmes.
- Trees That Count will endeavour to update carbon estimates as carbon models and databases are improved, such as refinements underway by Tane’s Trees Trust.